Tag Archives: husbands

Who Are You Calling a Spelunker?

**This is a post from my blogging days at The Simple Life of a Caver’s Wife, but I’m proud of my husband and love that he is passionate about what he does, so I wanted to share this with SGC readers. :)
Who Are You Calling A Spelunker?- SouthernGalsCook.com
My hubby on the Flint-Mammoth Connection Anniversary Trip 2007

In the caving community, there is a strong understanding that you don’t ever, EVER call a caver a “spelunker”.
Dem’s just fighting words ’round these parts.

If you ask a caver what the difference is, there’s a good chance they will tell you:

“The difference between a caver and a spelunker? Cavers rescue spelunkers.”

What’s the big deal? Well, before you insult a caver, let me break it down for you.

By definition {Merriam-Webster}, a spelunker is one who explores and studies caves as a hobby.

Imagine, if you will, a couple of kids finding a cave and taking a flashlight to check it out. They are inexperienced, don’t have the proper equipment, don’t know the caving rules or techniques, and are really just in there to mess around.  They are on an adventure to have fun and discover a new world, yet they are at high risk of injuring themselves and destroying the cave with their lack of knowledge, experience, and respect.

A caver, on the other hand, doesn’t really view caving as a hobby. Instead, caving is a way of life. In each caver, there is still that curious kid looking for an adventure and need to discover, but now there is a passion; a passion that is fueled with purpose; a purpose that is grounded in respect for both the cave and the caving brotherhood.

 Jeremy Reedy in the Bare Hole in Mammoth Cave ~ Photo taken by Jackie Wheet

Believe me, following protocol does not kill the sense of adventure or the majesty of the cave.

My hubby going through the Brice Crawl in Mammoth Cave

Danger is very real. The risk of getting hurt is real.

A rescue could take many hours. That’s why there must be a level of respect for technique, equipment and the safety of one another.

A caver with purpose will generally be a part of a caving group. My caver is a member the Cave Research Foundation. The organization’s members devote some of their time to explore, map, and collect pertinent data from caves across the nation to help others understand the importance and relativity of caves to our ecosystem and our nation’s history.

Cavers also understand the need for preservation. Not only do they get to be one of the few that get to see virgin areas of these chasms, but they know that for the benefit of generations to come, leaving it the way they found it is imperative. “Take only memories, leave only footprints.” You will never find a caver-to-the-core smuggling cave formations or artifacts out of the cave. It just isn’t done. It’s code.{By the way, in a National Park, it’s also known as a federal offense.} Every precaution is taken to make sure that the cave is in the same shape it was in when they arrived.

Hooter Alley
Me on the Wild Cave Tour in Mammoth Cave 2010

So, now you know.

“And knowing is half the battle.”

cavers2

The Purity of a Virtuous Woman

The Purity of a Virtous Woman- SouthernGalsCook.com

1 Timothy 4:12 Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.

Titus 2The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.

I apologize for this post being later than I had hoped.

For those of you who have ever played a large role in a Vacation Bible School, I’m sure you can understand why I took a little break.

The Purity of a Virtous Woman- SouthernGalsCook.com

And all my VBS peeps said, “Amen!”

This past week, our church was having our annual VBS with the theme of “The Virtuous Woman”. Each night, we discussed a characteristic found in Proverbs 31 and used a woman in the bible that exhibited those characteristics.

We talked about:

The Faith of a Virtuous Woman

The Wisdom of a Virtuous Woman

The Compassion of a Virtuous Woman

The Courage of a Virtuous Woman

For our last virtue, we talked about purity.

We all know that purity means clean; without contamination.

We also know that physical purity is important and discussed in the bible.

I don’t want to get off on this tangent, but I feel that I need to point this out: this is something that has been tossed aside in our society. The idea that a person’s sexual purity is disposable, unnecessary, and a curse, has crawled its way into many of our homes.

Our children can’t see a commercial or hear a song without some sort of sexual insinuation, which, if left ignored, will desensitize them to impropriety.

The world is astonished at the notion of having a relationship without physical intimacy until marriage. “What’s the big deal?!” The big deal is that God intended for your body to belong to the person you marry, when you are married, and to no one else at any other time– and that goes for ladies AND gentlemen.

I told my daughter the other day that the reason I dislike “new country music” is because southern women are portrayed as promiscuous, immodest, drunken girls with a love of drunk boys in pick-ups. Remember when being a southern lady meant having a sense of propriety and values, loving Jesus, and being loyal to family?

I know I sound like an 80-year-old grandma with a wagging finger, but I can’t help it. I have a daughter to raise and I want my son to learn to value women, to be a protector of these virtues, and posses them himself. However, it seems that everywhere we look, women are showing their bodies and men are praising them for it. On the other hand, we have aggressive women throwing themselves at men who want to do the right thing.

Please understand that this rambling of mine isn’t about legalism. If we depended on our actions for God’s mercy, we’d all be doomed.

God’s word, if we have been saved, should cause us to examine ourselves and convict us of our wrong doings. I can’t help but do that every time I study the Proverbs 31 woman. It reveals in me my impure thoughts and actions. I am a sinner saved by grace– but I’m still a sinner and will be until I lay this body down. This is why God’s grace is so needful and wonderful.

It’s also why we need to extend grace to others.

We cannot be perfect. None of us can. It baffles me that people think they can be good enough to go to heaven. Scripture teaches us plainly that no one can be good enough. God compares us to Jesus. Can any of us measure up to Jesus’s purity? No. Not one. When God looks at us, He sees a people who have sinned against Him and His Son– but if He sees the blood of His Son on our hearts, He sees us as His children.

If my kids have had a bad day and had gotten in trouble, I tell them that best thing about tomorrow is that it’s a fresh start with no mistakes. Isn’t it nice to know that it’s the same with God?

Lamentations 3:21 This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope.22 It is of the Lord‘s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.23 They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.

I hope that we all realize we must strive for holiness. Not just our bodies– but our eyes, ears, and mind need to be guarded. Do we protect our thoughts? Do we guard our hearts? Virtue is something that requires great effort and I pray that God will grant us the strength and perseverance to achieve such things for His honor, His glory, and to the furthering of His kingdom.

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We are linked up!

God bless you all,

The Courage of a Virtuous Woman

The Courage of a Virtuous Woman- SouthernGalsCook.com

 

Deuteronomy 31:6Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.

 

This week, our church has had our annual Vacation Bible School. Each night we have talked about a few of the different character traits that are exhibited by the Proverbs 31 woman. We have discussed:

The Faith of a Virtuous Woman

The Wisdom of a Virtuous Woman

The Compassion of a Virtuous Woman

For our fourth lesson, we discussed the virtue of courage.

As a Christian there have been times when I needed to do something that probably should have been easy, but yet I found it difficult because I lacked the courage to put myself in a vulnerable position.

I have found myself to be the only Christian in a group discussion about faith, Christianity, and or/moral issues.

I’m sure you’ve been in the same boat.

What did you do?

I tried to stand up for my beliefs and share my testimony of salvation. I don’t feel like I was effective, but I will leave that up to the Lord.

Sometimes God leads us to do a work. When that work means a life change, we can get nervous or scared. It may be your spouse that has been called to the mission field and it means moving the family hundreds or thousands of miles away. You may be called to leave your jobs and stay home with your children– losing an income is scary.

No matter what the transition, change is hard on most everyone but as children of the Great I Am, we have to be willing to go when He says go.

But do not fret.

We never go alone.

He’s there with us.

Why should we fear when our help comes from the Lord?

I had a talk with someone close to me not long ago. We were discussing something that needed to be done because the Lord was leading our hearts in a direction that meant change was/is in the near future. I had already had time to get used to the idea, but my friend was struggling. I told them that I was afraid that they would be so focused on the storm {of change and of the unknown} that they would be too afraid to get out of the boat {comfort zone}.

When the Lord is calling us out of the boat, we can find our courage in Him. We must keep our focus on Him and pay no mind to the storm. When He is ready, He will still the waters and the winds. The winds and seas obey Him.

Why should we fear?

It’s a comfort to know that when fear starts to bleed into the corners of our minds, we can ask God for courage and He will give it.

We are never alone.

We have no reason to fear.

Whether you are witnessing to an unbeliever, leaving your comfort zone to work for the Lord, becoming a parent, getting married, starting a new school, whatever it is: If the Lord has led you in the direction that you are headed–

Have. No. Fear!

Be of good courage.

The Master of the Wind and Seas will go with you.

He will not fail you.

And He will not forsake you.

The Compassion of a Virtuous Woman

The Compassion of a Virtuous Woman- SouthernGalsCook.com

♥Proverbs 31:20 She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.

♥John 13:35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

♥1 Corinthians 13:1Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.
And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

I’m ashamed.

Not because I lack compassion. There’s enough compassion in this ol’ heart to share.

I’m ashamed because I have allowed the fraud of others to tarnish my idea of charity.

Do you know what I mean?

You hear of non-profits profiting heavily off of the kindness of others.

Our government assistant programs are being taken advantage of by people who are healthy enough to work, they just choose not to.

These situations maybe rare, but they are all you hear about.

So, even though compassion exists among God’s people, wouldn’t you agree that our compassion as become callused?

Well… shame on us!

Shame on me!

Shame on me for allowing the exception to become the rule.

What a wonderful opportunity we miss out on for spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ!

Before there were food stamps, free health care, and government housing, there were churches that fed and clothed the poor. If you needed money, they would find something for you to do so you could earn a few dollars. And because there were real people {not agencies} reaching out, it was very rare for the ‘needy’ to continue taking advantage of the compassion of others. As soon as they were on their feet, they were not only providing for themselves, but they were paying forward the compassion shown to them.

In that process, the love of Christ was shining brightly in the hearts of the givers.

I wonder how many souls were saved through the living testimonies of those that reached their hands out to the needy.

Where is it today?

The more I write, the angrier I become at myself.

Compassion and charity are all just extensions of love.

Should it be so difficult to love our fellow man? Especially if we have the love of Christ in us?

I was talking to Dana the other day about adoption. We, as Christians are called out to take care of the widows and the orphans, yet how many of us consider adoption?

I have family members that have adopted. What a wonderful gift it is. I cannot even begin to describe how much our family has loved and been loved through that process.

There are so many children that need to know the love of a family.

Do you know how many 17 year olds feel doomed because on their next birthday they will be pushed out of the system? They will no longer be eligible for adoption because they will be a legal adult– an adult with no one to call them on their birthday. No where to go for the holidays.

My heart is breaking.

What if you could be that one family; the one that could give that child {or children} a soft place to fall when they are disappointed? What about when they are sick and they have no one that loves them enough to fix them a special bed on the couch, pop in their favorite movie, keep their cup filled with ice-cold Sprite and snuggle with them until their fever breaks? What about when they want to know what happens when they die, and there is no one to tell them about the love of Jesus and heaven?

I hope no one comes in here. I’m pretty sure the snot and tears would freak them out.

You know what the problem is?

Our society has taken on this idea that children are an inconvenience.

Women are told not to consider having families until they are well established. “Wait until you have your degree and your career going. A child will just slow you down.”

Children are blessing.

Period.

Psalm 127:3 Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. 4 As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. 5 Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.

I’m not saying that they aren’t a huge responsibility. I’m not saying that your life won’t change.

It will!

It has to!

But I’m telling you it is worth it.

It is worth it.

It is worth it.

It. Is. Worth it.

Every less dollar amount. Every sleepless night. Every spit up stained shirt. Every car seat in the mini-van. Every “what is that smell?!” Every “GET THAT OUT OF YOUR MOUTH!”. Every frantic trip to the ER. Every time you have to answer “why?”…

I wouldn’t trade a nanosecond of that for anything you could offer.

If you have ever entertained the idea of adopting, PLEASE pray about it until you have exhausted all avenues.

We need more compassionate women to say YES to children with no families.

We need more compassionate women to reach their hands toward the needy without hesitancy.

We need more compassionate hearts living out the gospel.

By “we”, I mean “me”… and “you”… and “us”. All of us. I know I can’t be the only one.

Without our actions, our words are just sounds… sounds that mean nothing. Just noise.

I don’t want to be “just noise”.

The compassion of a Virtuous Woman…her words would sound like the song of angels. Her actions would be like a cool breeze on a hot, humid, Kentucky summer day– bringing comfort, and beauty, and relief.

No noise. Just love.

May we all inch closer to being a Proverbs 31 woman by living the way Jesus said… having love one to another.

 

The Wisdom of a Virtuous Woman

The Wisdom of a Virtuous Woman- SouthernGalsCook.com

 

Proverbs 31:26 She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.

Proverbs 14:1 Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands.

Yesterday {Tuesday} was the second night in our VBS studies of The Virtuous Woman found in Proverbs 31. On Monday, the character trait we focused on was Faith. Tuesday we talked about wisdom.

My {Tangi} husband is teaching the high school class and one of his students quoted this:

Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.

It made me chuckle, but what a great way to put it.

I wonder how many times God has looked down at me from Heaven and saw me trying to put tomatoes in the fruit salad.

Do you pray for wisdom?

Myself? Not nearly enough. Usually, I ask for Godly wisdom when I have made such a mess out of things already.  How different the landscape of my life would be if I had asked God to give me wisdom to begin with!

God knows that I need Him.

I need Him so much.

Generally, when I think about the verse Proverbs 14:1 Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands., I imagine a woman with scandalous behavior. I think of a woman who is dressed like a “woman of the night”, leaving her family to commit adultery and spending the grocery money on parties and clothes.

I know there are women like that, but that is just one side of the spectrum.

Women can damage their families just by being careless. 

My husband made an excellent point to his high school class. He told them that there are a lot of smart people who are not wise and there are a lot of wise people who aren’t book smart. He went on to say that people who usually don’t make wise choices tend to have a lot of conflict in their lives. He went a little further and told his class {all guys} that if they marry a woman who had a habit of making unwise choices, those consequences would follow her into their marriage and effect their relationship. Isn’t marriage hard enough without added strain?

Am I right?

Can I get an amen?

..Ahem… moving on…

As you can see, my hubby is very wise. After all, he married me. ;)

I can’t help but to be honest with you. There are so, so, so, many things that I am not good at. I fail constantly. I’m impulsive. I can be selfish. I can be stubborn. I internalize my feelings until I explode– I have a long fuze, but it still ain’t pretty. {Gosh. Y’all pray for my husband!} I’d go on, but I’m embarrassing myself.

I really DO want to be a woman with Godly wisdom.

I really DO want to speak wisdom into the lives of my children.

I really Do want to help my husband by being that partner that helps him in making wise choices about our family.

Jesus really does love me. Not only does He love me so much He shed His blood for my soul, but He also has to deal with me. I’m thankful for His grace.

May God bless us with wisdom and may we all put our tomatoes in the correct salad. ;)

The Faith of a Virtuous Woman

Faith

 

Proverbs 31:10 Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

As I sit here thinking about how tired I am… that it’s only Tuesday… and that I need more coffee, I still can’t help but to look forward to teaching precious little cherubs about the character traits of The Virtuous Woman this evening.

Dana told y’all yesterday that this week our church is having our annual Vacation Bible School and this year’s theme is one that I hold dear to my heart. Every time I read and study Proverbs 31:10-31, I see how much I lack in being the woman who God wants me to be. It humbles me and reminds me that I need the Lord with me everyday. Every meal I prepare, every purchase I make, every song or show I allow in my home, every decision I make, I need God’s wisdom and guidance to be just a hint of a virtuous woman for my family and for my God.

Yesterday {Monday} our character trait was Faith.

Faith

Faith is such a simple, yet complex thing.

In one of my favorite family Christmas movies, The Santa Clause, a little elf tells Scott Calvin {played by Tim Allen} that “Seeing isn’t believing; Believing is seeing.”

Judy

Judy the Elf

I asked the kids in my class if they think that there REALLY is such a thing as a million dollars. They said “Yes!”. I asked, “Have you ever seen a million dollars?” Well, of course not. None of them have. So then I asked them, “Then how do you know that it exists?” They looked at me like I had two heads. Then I said, “I bet you’ve seen buildings that cost a million dollars to build– and roads that cost a million dollars to pave, right? You’ve seen people on t.v. that make millions of dollars.” They all agreed.

Then I asked them, “Is God real?” They all exclaimed “YES!” “What about Jesus?” “Oh, YES!” “And Heaven and angels… all of that is real?” “Yes, Ms. Tangi!!” “Well, have you ever seen God? Or Jesus? Or Heaven? Or angels?” “Noooo.” Their big, sparkly, cherub eyes looked at me with anticipation and trust. “Then…How do you know they are real?”

*crickets*

Finally, a little munchkin voice chimed “Because we just know, Ms. Tangi.”

Aw. Sweet baby chile.

I smiled and said, “And that, my dear, is faith.”

It reminded me of this:

Matthew 18:

And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them,

And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

—- Not gonna lie. I got a little teary eyed.—-

I went on to tell the children that like the buildings and roads that cost a million dollars to make, nature itself proclaims the existence of God {Romans 1:20}. And like there are people on t.v. that have a million dollars, there are people in our church and around the world that have been saved, felt the power of God, and have Jesus in our hearts.

Now… back to faith and being a virtuous woman…

I discovered just how weak my faith is during our adult Sunday School class this past Sunday. We side-tracked into a “What would you do?” discussion on a hot topic. I got very real and shared with my church family that if it were an extreme situation, it would be hard for me to not entertain the idea of doing something that I know in my heart is wrong, especially when it came to protecting my family.

Faith in God isn’t just about knowing whether He exists or not, but isn’t it also knowing that He is in control? Isn’t having faith knowing that if we follow Him and do what He has called us to do, that He will take care of things according to His purpose and His glory?

I pray that my faith grows so that when the “extremes” do happen, that I turn to Him– my Rock and my Salvation– and allow Him to take care of it… and that I don’t do anything stupid to make it worse. {Just keepin’ it real, folks}

Proverbs 31:21 says:

She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet.

“…is not afraid of the snow…”

I heard a saying that goes something like… “Don’t tell God how big your storm is. Tell your storm how big your God is.” I think that’s what we are seeing in this scripture. Sometimes our storms can be snow flurries of everyday irritations and disappointments. Sometimes our storms are downright blizzards of death, deception, abuse, and desperation. But whatever the storm, God can calm it if we ask Him to.

I pray that God will increase our faith as we try to grow closer to Him. I pray that He will clothe our families in the Scarlet blood of His Son, Jesus Christ. I pray that our lives will proclaim His power, mercy, and grace. I pray that our faith won’t shudder at the cold of the snow, but that the snow will shudder at the power of our God.

Vacation Bible School

Galatians 3:23-26

23 But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.

24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 

25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.

26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.

 

vacation_bible_school1

Our church family starts its yearly Vacation Bible School tonight. This is a four night event that brings about eating, learning God’s word and crafts.

We love this time of year as we get to see many familiar faces, those we rarely see, and some new faces as well.

I (Dana) and my Aunt Tenito (pronounced Ta-ni-ta) is in charge of feeding the multitude.  Tangi will be teaching the 5 and 6-year-old class and Laura will be capturing all the action via still photos and videos.

Proverbs 31:10 Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.

This year we will be learning about Proverbs 31 – The Virtuous Women.  Our writers chose Women in the Bible that exhibited different traits described in Proverbs 31.

Monday night we learn about Hannah, an example of a Faithful Woman.

Tuesday night we learn about Abigail, a woman of beauty and wisdom. And Deborah, whom was both a prophetess and a judge.

Wednesday night we learn of Compassion from three women, Lydia, Ruth and the Shunammite Woman.

Thursday night we learn about Esther, an orphan girl who became queen.  She was also a woman of Courage and clear judgement.

Friday night we learn about Purity and how Mary, the Mother of Jesus exhibited this trait.

We hope to bring you all the action, plus a little learnens’ about God’s wonderful word, cooking and craft making!

Hopefully, you will find something along the way that will help you in your life and possibly with your VBS.

Sound exciting?

Let’s get started!

Good Bless ya,

SGC

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